It was crowded with... well, I don't really want to say it 'cause I'm afraid you'll think I'm terribly judgemental and bitchy and honestly, in most situations I'm not but I realized today that in these kinds of situations I totally am. I don't tolerate (what I consider to be) bullshit very well. It was crowded with ridiculously competitive stay-at-home moms whose kids had obnoxious names and not an inch to breathe away from their helicopter mommies.
Backing up a bit...
I talk all day to Lauren. I am beginning to think that one of the reasons she is a bit speech delayed and isn't speaking back to me in phrases is because she's afraid if she actually does, that I will talk to her even more. And since she and I spend so much time alone together I am trying to be quiet a little more often and let her discover some things on her own. This was true even today. We played together for a little bit and then I sat down and just let her play on her own. She's very much like Drew in that she'll approach a group of kids and just stand and watch them. She smiles when they smile, she'll laugh when they laugh, but she doesn't want to get involved, she just observes and is happy to do so. She fell off a 6 inch high thing and I let her lay there and look at me and figure out what she should do next. Should she cry or smile back at me and get up? She figured it out and I never once even almost got up to help her. She was never injured or scared. She was fine. I left her alone and she had a grand time playing for a very long time. I also figured if she wanted something to drink she'd let me know. She's two, she lets her needs be known pretty well.
These other moms who were there - good Lord. It was like a social experiment and I had a front row seat. Maybe because of my Sociology background I found it uber fascinating but I think really it just came from my judgemental bitchy side. If I wouldn't have seemed creepy I would have taken pictures of it all.
Here's an example:
Helicopter mom: "Are you having fun, honey?"
Obnoxiously named kid: * * *
HM: "Are you thirsty, honey? I have some juice for you!"
ONK: * * *
HM: "Do you want me to take your shoes off for you? Some of the other kids have their shoes off."
ONK: * * *
It went on and on and on and on. The kid ignored his mom completely and she hovered over him like there were insects around that would have swarmed him otherwise. All she did was talk to him and question him and offer him things and he never once answered her or paid attention to her.
Another kid tripped and fell - over his own feet I might add - and the mom bolted out of her chair like it was on fire. She picked him up and hugged him and swayed with him while the two friends of the mom came over to make sure he wasn't bleeding or hurt. It was cah-razy. One mom even went to get an ice pack. The kid fell to the ground from his own feet, not from a 10 foot ladder. He wasn't even crying. The competitive, over-attentive nature of the moms was comical, but at the same time it's a little worrisome. They are creating kids who are going to be the wussiest kids ever. And not only that, these kids will expect things to literally but at their heels when they want it.
So, as I sit there seemingly ignoring my child by comparison and thinking these women are comical, sad, and give the rest of us stay-at-home moms a bad name, I realized what a bitch I am. Not only can I not imagine creating monsters that those kids will more than likely become, but I can't imagine expending that much unneccesary energy on my children. I suppose when you feel like you have compete and be The Best and The Most Attentive and The Most Concerned it's exhausting. And even though those women probably thought I was The One Who Neglects Her Children, I can confidently say that I'm not exhausted and my kids will fall and cry while I look on sometimes. Why? 'Cause I'm a bitch, I guess.